Five of our worthy Brother Hibernians received the prestigious 40 Under 40 Award from the Irish Echo, America’s oldest Irish-American newspaper recently. At a gala dinner held on Friday, February 21, 2020 at Rosie O’Grady’s restaurant in New York City, the Irish Echo honored five of our Brother Hibernians in recognition for the tremendous contributions to the Irish-American community. View the online photo album.
The following Brother Hibernians were recipients of this award:
Brother Sean (“Seanai”) Kiely, of Hoboken, NJ. Brother Kiely is a member of New York County Thomas Cardinal O’Fiaich Division 7. Born in Waterford, Ireland, Brother Kiely moved to the United States in 2017 to take up a position with the law firm of Raoul Felder and Partners. Brother Kiely holds a degree from Trinity College in Law and German. He was called to the Honourable Society of Kings Inns, Dublin, where he trained as a Barrister-at-Law, being called to the Bar of Ireland in July 2016 by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland.is a member of the New York Bar as a practicing attorney. An avid hurler, he currently plays for the Hoboken Guards. His hurling team won the New York State Hurling Championship last summer in Gaelic Park against Tipperary New York. He is passionate about all Irish sport. Brother Kiely served as Fianna Fail’s Waterford Representative on the National Executive of the Party from 2013-2017.
Brother Andrew Sharp of New Orleans and New York, NY. Brother Sharp is a member of Suffolk County Saint Patrick’s Division 2. A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, Brother Sharp has had a lifetime immersed in Irish music and culture since early childhood. He began playing the Uileann pipes professionally at the age of 15, performing with such legends as New York City’s own Black 47 and toured with iconic Irish music legends Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfetones. He is a dedicated teacher of the various types of bagpipes, and is a pipes instructor with the Saffron United Pipe Band in Babylon, New York. The band was just awarded “Champion Supreme” in the eastern United States and will travel to Glasgow, Scotland to compete at the World Pipe Band Championship. Besides being an Irish musician, Brother Sharp is a political campaign consultant. Brother Sharp is married to his lovely wife Alexandra, and they are expecting their first child.
Brother Sean McCann of Putnam Valley, NY. Brother McCann is a member of Westchester County Peekskill Division 18. He was the recipient of the Building America Award. Along with his father, Frank McCann, he is active in supporting the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural center in East Durham, NY. Brother McCann is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30, and graduated from the union’s three-year apprenticeship program in 2014. He obtained a New York State diploma in Stationary Engineering in 2014 and a Refrigeration Operators license from the FDNY. He currently serves as a High-Pressure Plant Tender for the City College of New York and is the shop steward assisting the Vice President of Local 983 representing High-Pressure Plant Tenders at multiple CUNY locations.He loves Irish music and attends different Irish festivals throughout the year. Brother McCann is married to his lovely wife Jackie.
Brother Tim Weklar of Averill Park, NY. Brother Weklar is a member of Albany County Father Henry Tansey Division 5. Brother Weklar graduated the University of Albany in 2002 with a BA, majoring in history and minoring in political science. He would then earn a Master’s degree from the College of Saint Rose in Adolescent Education. He currently teaches at City School District of Albany as a special education teacher at the Tony Clement Center for Education. Brother Weklar has served as an officer of his Division since 2009, and is the Worthy President. He also serves on Schenectady Major Degree Team and is the Past County President. Brother Weklar is married to his lovely wife Amanda. They have two children, Simon (6) and Theodore (1).
Brother Tomas McLaughlin of Baltimore, MD. Brother McLaughlin is an active member of the Order in Baltimore. He is the Director of the AFL-CIO Community Services of Central Maryland. He has been helping organize, train, and support workers in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland his entire post-college career. He focused his undergraduate studies thesis on the Irish Hunger Strikes. Although born in Brooklyn, NY, Brother McLaughlin was baptized in Belfast, County Antrim by the great champion of West Belfast, Father Des Wilson. Brother McLaughlin spent his first 18 summers living and working on a farm outside Ardara, County Donegal. He is the youngest member of the Fenian Memorial Committee of America’s Board of Directors, and actively supports Irish festivals and parades.
Our Brothers’ awards were presented by the AOH New York State Board Worthy Vice President John J. Manning.
Kudos to all five of our Worthy Brother Hibernians on being the recipients of this year’s Irish Echo’s 40 Under 40, bringing honor to the good name and reputation of our Ancient Order, aiding and advancing our Irish-American community and honoring our Irish heritage and Roman Catholic faith.
There is an old saying in the Irish-American community. “To be Irish is a blessing. To be a Hibernian is an honor.” These five Brothers bring both honor and blessings to our Order by their good works and serving our Irish-American community and in our Order’s ranks as worthy and esteemed Brother Hibernians.
Respectfully submitted for your review and consideration.
Fraternally yours in Our Motto,
Brother Denis P. McGowan
Richmond County Board